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Are there any whales that live in fresh water?

There are nearly 70 species of toothed whales and 13 species of baleen whales. Baleen whales use a highly specialized…

|Whale Q&A 12/8/2019

Gaspésie Invaded by “Jubartes” or “Megaptera”

No doubt about it, everyone who has been plying the offshore waters of the Gaspé region lately has one word…

|Observation of the Week 19/6/2018

Blue Whale Newcomers and Familiar Humpbacks

The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) team, based in Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, is geared up for its 40th season on the water!…

|Observation of the Week 13/6/2018

Irisept, a White Tail and Other Humpback Whale Stories

"For a number of people, the weather these past few days has been the motivating factor to get out and…

|Observation of the Week 5/6/2018

Silvery Capelin Sought by Hungry Giants

Prével (Gaspésie), Sept-Îles, Portneuf-sur-Mer (Côte-Nord): "Waves of silver" say some local residents when talking about a particular time of the…

|Observation of the Week 31/5/2018

“Suspect” Identified

Is it possible to identify an all-white beluga? Certainly, especially when it shows a major spinal deformity like Pascolio! This…

|Observation of the Week 18/5/2018

Recognizing Whales by their Backs

May 6: no sooner had the sun risen when one observer spotted two belugas in the morning light off La…

|Observation of the Week 10/5/2018

White Dots at Sea and Exquisite Darts in the Skies

From the distant white dots identified every morning at the mouth of the Saguenay to the close-up views of animals…

|Observation of the Week 26/4/2018

Seals by the hundreds, seabird numbers on the rise and belugas between island and mountains

Our collaborator from Pointe-des-Monts confirms: "no whales in sight, but there were "sea wolves" by the ton!" speaking of his…

|Observation of the Week 19/4/2018

Silhouettes of All Colours

April 11: Young grays and white adults are scattered around the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord. "At last," sighs one…

|Observation of the Week 12/4/2018

It’s snowing on the whales!

The most recent snowfalls this past week give the impression that winter will never end and that spring is reluctant…

|Observation of the Week 4/4/2018

First Spring Visitors

Sunny skies and rising temperatures are bringing joy and marking the return of the whales! On March 23, in the…

|Observation of the Week 29/3/2018

A New Fur Coat Every Year

This week's observations revolve around seals! In Franquelin and Tadoussac, just one harp seal and one gray seal are seen,…

|Observation of the Week 21/3/2018

Are seals “chatterboxes”?

Before tackling this question, here are a few tidbits regarding our St. Lawrence whales. Between 30 and 50 belugas were…

|Observation of the Week 9/3/2018

Amphibious Mammals along the North Shore

The lives of seals are split between the sea and the land. Excellent swimmers, they hunt their prey under water…

|Observation of the Week 18/1/2018

Noteworthy Stories Awaiting Next Year’s Narratives

The year 2017 is winding down. What were the major headlines from this year's News from Afield? [caption id="attachment_30002" align="alignright"…

|Observation of the Week 21/12/2017

Rediscover a summer holiday spot in a frozen but still inhabited setting

After long hours spent this past summer scanning the open sea for whales and pointing them out to visitors, an…

|Observation of the Week 13/12/2017

Tips and Tricks for Recognizing Species

"On December 3, I spotted two whales off Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé," writes in one observer, delighted to be seeing whales in December.…

|Observation of the Week 6/12/2017

Patience, they’re still around

The week goes by and with each passing day we receive more sightings from our network of collaborators throughout Quebec.…

|Observation of the Week 1/12/2017

Were whales affected by those squalls that pummelled the North Shore?

On November 17, gusts of up to 90 km/h whipped across the shores of the Côte-Nord region. The raging, whitecap-speckled St.…

|Observation of the Week 22/11/2017

Migrants Prolonging their Season

At first glance, the St. Lawrence in November appears to be devoid of life. Apart from merchant ships and ferries,…

|Observation of the Week 16/11/2017

When Birds Take Advantage of Whales to Feed

An impressive scar forms zebra-like stripes on the right flank of one of the three fin whales seen off Tadoussac…

|Observation of the Week 8/11/2017

Minke Whales, from the Arctic to the St. Lawrence to the Tropic of Cancer

This past week, it has been mostly minke whales that have been observed. About fifteen of them have been at…

|Observation of the Week 1/11/2017

Little Hitchhikers on Big Travellers and a Horde of Dolphins

Large golden-brown spots can be seen when a fin whale appears – for example, one of the eight individuals observed…

|Observation of the Week 24/10/2017

The Porpoise that Thought It Was a Beluga

On October 13, in the heart of the Marine Park, a harbour porpoise surprises observers with its whitish colour recalling…

|Observation of the Week 18/10/2017

Whale Season Draws to a Close

Parks Canada's land-based observation sites adjacent to the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park are closing down for the season; meanwhile, the…

|Observation of the Week 13/10/2017

Etched in Our Memories

"Extraordinary," exclaims a Franquelin-based collaborator while watching in awe as a minke whale leaps into the air. It repeats the…

|Observation of the Week 4/10/2017

Big Loafers and Sea Torpedoes

Almost nonchalantly, a basking shark glides by the boat of a resident of Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé. Its high dorsal fin betrays the…

|Observation of the Week 27/9/2017

Up Close or From Afar

Early in the morning of September 17, under an overcast sky and in glassy seas, two observers from Sainte-Anne-des-Monts are…

|Observation of the Week 21/9/2017

Movement in the St. Lawrence

This seems to be the best way to describe the whale season to date. [caption id="attachment_27257" align="alignright" width="250"] Tingley and…

|Observation of the Week 6/9/2017

In Groups or Alone?

"Harbour porpoises are everywhere, every day," reports a collaborator from Franquelin. These cetaceans, which measure 1 to 2 m long, are…

|Observation of the Week 30/8/2017

Observing a Heavyweight Breastfeeding and Other Surprises

A whale-watching boat in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park encounters the fin whale Caïman and her young on August 16.…

|Observation of the Week 23/8/2017

Detective for a day

Whales reveal just a tiny fraction of their bodies before quickly disappearing again, leaving observers puzzled as to who they…

|Observation of the Week 16/8/2017

A Week of Questions and Surprises!

On August 9, the Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) team sets out on the water, taking advantage of a lull.…

|Observation of the Week 11/8/2017

Familiar Whales, Satisfied Observers

"This summer has been a busy one in Sept-Îles!" exclaims a resident observer from Gallix, near Sept-Îles. Since 1989, he…

|Observation of the Week 4/8/2017

Intriguing Observations

"Is it possible to see a killer whale in Saint-Siméon in the Charlevoix region?", asks a camper who notices a…

|Observation of the Week 27/7/2017

Searching for Whales to Research

Photo-identifying the minke whales of the Estuary is one of the objectives of the team at Mériscope, which is based…

|Observation of the Week 21/7/2017

Diversity of Species and Behaviours to Discover

"They come here to eat."... a phrase often repeated by captains and naturalists from the get-go when speaking to the…

|Observation of the Week 13/7/2017

A Breath of Fresh Air in Gaspésie

Good news: five newborn humpback whales have been sighted so far off the Gaspé Peninsula: "a figure that is already…

|Observation of the Week 28/6/2017

St. Lawrence week: fin whale

By Marie-Sophie Giroux  Rapid and Agile Greyhound of the Sea During the St. Lawrence Week, Whales Online features every day…

|News 28/6/2017

Minke Whales and Winter Seals in the Middle of Summer… followed by News from Afield Map!

"Good thing we at least have them!" joke several captains and naturalists from the Tadoussac – Les Escoumins region, referring…

|Observation of the Week 21/6/2017

Individual Identification Possible, but Far from Easy

At the foot of the mountains rising above the Fjord, small groups of harbour seals lie on the rocks. They…

|Observation of the Week 16/6/2017

Summer Frenzy in the Gulf

From a vantage point on Bonaventure Island off the Gaspé Peninsula, a park warden spots two humpback whales on June…

|Observation of the Week 9/6/2017

Spouts, prey and migrations: a few stories

Off L'Anse-Saint-Georges in the Gaspé, a tour operator observes two spouts on May 24. The mushroom shape leads him to…

|Observation of the Week 25/5/2017

Strange-looking Dolphins

Dark skin, long pectoral fins, a round head resembling that of a beluga, and a short beak: the pilot whale…

|Observation of the Week 19/5/2017

Large Rorquals and Ducks by the Thousands

Thousands of long-tailed ducks line the waters of the Estuary. Skilled divers, they plunge to depths of up to sixty…

|Observation of the Week 12/5/2017

Tadoussac: The Whales are Back!

For a number of whale cruise operators in the Tadoussac region, the offshore season debuted the last weekend of April.…

|Observation of the Week 8/5/2017

Belugas and Gannets Downriver

A herd of belugas are swimming in tight formation off Pointe-aux-Outardes; they number about 40. Behind them, flocks of birds…

|Observation of the Week 27/4/2017

“My first whales of the season!”

These same words were on the lips of a number of observers! Here they are, back in the St. Lawrence…

|Observation of the Week 11/4/2017

Three Baritone Rorquals

One, two… three spouts appear and remain suspended on the horizon for a few seconds. They're about four kilometres offshore.…

|Observation of the Week 7/4/2017

Fresh crab at the counters: a telltale sign

The snow crab season is underway, which is synonymous with the start of the "crab dinner" season. For some, this is…

|Observation of the Week 30/3/2017

A Breath of Spring

March 20 marked the spring equinox, when day and night are of equal duration, and will end with the summer…

|Observation of the Week 23/3/2017

Observation Round-up, from the Estuary to the Gulf

Winter is a relatively calm period for marine mammal enthusiasts. Nevertheless, many observers stare out to sea, constantly on the…

|Observation of the Week 17/3/2017

Whitecaps and Blue Mountain at the Water Surface

February 28: from his "lookout" – i.e. the porch of his house – a member of the Marine Mammal Interpretation…

|Observation of the Week 9/3/2017

Visiting Blue Whale in Godbout

On February 23, off the village of Godbout, a large rorqual approaches the coast. Its long back glides across the…

|Observation of the Week 2/3/2017

Giant of Giants Honoured at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum

On March 11, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto will launch its new exhibition dedicated to the largest animal the…

|News 27/2/2017

Copious Meal for Two Blue Whales

Their gaping mouth expands like an accordion thanks to the skin folds of the throat and belly, while their baleen…

|Observation of the Week 23/2/2017

A Mysterious Tail

On February 4, a resident in the Godbout region on the North Shore captures on film the tail of a…

|Observation of the Week 16/2/2017

Whale Week 2017: February 13-17

Organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the event aims to raise public awareness about whales and to…

|News 16/2/2017

Are humpback whales saving other species being hunted by killer whales?

Yes. For example, in 2012 in Monterey Bay, California, a BBC team filmed the intervention of two humpbacks to protect…

|Whale Q&A 13/2/2017

“Surfing” amidst the Pack Ice

Surprisingly, there are a handful of enthusiasts who continue to practise this sport even in the middle of winter in…

|Observation of the Week 12/2/2017

Driving over 500 km to See Belugas

"Beluga-watching in winter!" exclaims a Whales Online subscriber after reading the Field Notes Still Plenty of Belugas on the Upper…

|Observation of the Week 9/2/2017

Fernand-Seguin Scholarship 2017: the Next Generation of Science Journalism

Get out your pens, cameras and computers! The Fernand-Seguin 2017 Scholarship is underway! Since 1981, this competition has represented an…

|News 8/2/2017

Return of Whales to Côte-Nord

Measuring 15 to 20 metres long and weighing in at 35 to 100 tonnes, large rorquals swim beneath the water…

|Observation of the Week 3/2/2017

Which cetacean is most at risk of extinction?

According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), it would be the vaquita. This…

|Whale Q&A 3/2/2017

Drawing Contest Mon fleuve et moi, 2016-2017 Edition

Through their drawings, Quebec students aged 6 through 20 are invited to depict their dream activity related to the St.…

|News 27/1/2017

Tips for Surviving the Cold in Quebec

January 18: hundreds of Barrow's goldeneye take wing amidst the ice floes off Cap de Bon-Desir. They're not alone. The…

|Observation of the Week 26/1/2017

Why leap out of the water when one weighs over 30 tonnes?

Known as breaches in scientific jargon, these leaps out of the water that whales perform serve notably to communicate with…

|Whale Q&A 23/1/2017

Daniel Pauly, Radio-Canada’s 2016 Scientist of the Year, will be featured on the program Les années lumière

His involvement "for having revealed the true scale of overfishing in the planet's oceans" has led him to become the…

|News 20/1/2017

Four-legged Underwater Hunters

Harp seals by the hundreds on the ice at Sainte-Flavie and Pointe-au-Père, groups of harp seals off Les Escoumins, gray…

|Observation of the Week 17/1/2017

How did baleen appear?

A recently discovered whale fossil has proven to be an important piece of the puzzle with regard to whale evolution.…

|Whale Q&A 11/1/2017

If Belugas and Narwhals Cohabit the Arctic, is it Possible That These Whales Once Swam Side by Side in The Champlain Sea?

Being that they frequent the same territory, narwhals do occasionally come into contact with belugas in the Arctic, without necessarily…

|Whale Q&A 21/12/2016

Black Bubbling at the Water Surface

Actually, it's harp seals moving around energetically in the water. Solo, in pairs, by the handful or by the dozen,…

|Observation of the Week 16/12/2016

Observations at Sea and on Land, during the Day and at Night

It is always surprising to encounter whales that are believed to have left for the Atlantic as soon as autumn…

|Observation of the Week 9/12/2016

Are killer whales a threat to the marine mammal populations that they feed on?

Predation alone does not generally pose a threat to the sustainability of a population. It is often associated with other…

|Whale Q&A 7/12/2016
© Richard Sears

Preserving habitats… so that they stay that way

A number of conservation projects aim to protect critical habitats for marine mammal populations with one of the objectives being…

|News 6/2/2016
béluga drone vieux

As the crow flies: drones as a promising research tool

Drones offer researchers new means of obtaining data on wild animal populations. They help enlarge the field of view of…

|News 2/2/2016

Breaching: energy-intensive but beneficial for diving

Myoglobin carries and stores oxygen in the muscles of vertebrates. It is particularly abundant in marine mammals and is believed…

|News 29/1/2016
Sur la trace du béluga

BELUGAS ON THE MOVE VIDEO CLIP PRESENTING THE PROJECT: STUNNING FOOTAGE

At the dawn of the beluga seasonal migration, one question remains: where will they winter? This is the question that…

|News 25/11/2015

Belugas on the Move
Video Clip Presenting the Project: Stunning Footage

At the dawn of the beluga seasonal migration, one question remains: where will they winter? This is the question that…

|News 25/11/2015
béluga

THE DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION PRESENTS THE ELECTIONS CHALLENGE: 100 DAYS TO PROTECT THE BELUGA

“Is the protection of the 900 belugas of the St. Lawrence one of your hopes for the future? What if…

|News 2/10/2015

Pregnancy Tests for Belugas

Update – September 30, 2015 The final day of the program was September 25. Weather conditions were favourable, which allowed…

|This week in the Marine Park 30/9/2015

The Leap Manifesto

The authors of the The Leap Manifesto chose a whale to illustrate their hopes and concerns for a more just…

|News 15/9/2015

Observers Delighted…

To observe almost a hundred belugas in Les Escoumins; nearly a dozen blue whales in the Gaspé, including B105, which…

|Observation of the Week 17/8/2015

“Sea Wolves” of the St. Lawrence

In French, seals are sometimes referred to by the old term "loups marins", or sea wolves, which in some regions…

|Observation of the Week 14/8/2015

Sperm Whale on Display at Musée de la Mer, Magdalen Islands

Its 15 m long skeleton is the star of an exhibit entitled "Souffleur à grosse tête, qui es-tu?" (loosely translated, "Big-headed…

|News 11/8/2015

Pair of Blue Giants

Researcher Anik Boileau, director of the Centre d’Éducation et de Recherche de Sept-îles (CERSI), based in Sept-Îles, observed a pair…

|Observation of the Week 11/8/2015

Right Whales Seen from the Sky

During an aerial survey on August 7, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spots over twenty…

|Observation of the Week 11/8/2015

Looking for whales with our ears

At Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, some thirty fin whales are present, both "known" faces and newcomers. Are they easy to spot? More or…

|Observation of the Week 31/7/2015

Large Gatherings

Large herds of gray seals off Tadoussac are attracting increasing attention. Even if only their heads stick out above the…

|Observation of the Week 23/7/2015

A Whiskery Creature in La Baie

July 20, 2015: Long whiskers appear on the water surface; a bearded seal startles a photographer at the marina in…

|Observation of the Week 22/7/2015

Renewed Activity

"Might things be picking up in the region?" enquires one of the Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) team members after…

|Observation of the Week 17/7/2015

Getting to Know the Herring of the St. Lawrence Upper Estuary, a Beluga Prey

This project, which began last year, focuses in particular on the spawning grounds of this small silver fish. Herring migrate…

|News 14/7/2015

North Atlantic Right Whale Observed near Île Rouge

On the afternoon of Friday, July 10, the GREMM team aboard the Bleuvet, while tracking belugas offshore, had a surprising…

|Observation of the Week 10/7/2015

Four Killer Whales in the Lower North Shore, One Possibly Identified

Photos taken between La Tabatière and Gros-Mécatina in the Basse-Côte-Nord region (in the Gulf of St. Lawrence near Newfoundland) confirm…

|Observation of the Week 10/7/2015

Familiar Faces in Gaspésie

A black "iris" shape on the right lobe and a white "seven" in the centre of the tail; cat eyes…

|Observation of the Week 9/7/2015

Survivor of the Estuary

The last time "Le Survivant" was seen was on November 23, 2014, off the coast of Cap de Bon-Désir in…

|Observation of the Week 4/5/2015

Of Whales, the Moon and Men

The "fishermen" positioned nearly 3500 saplings in four days, though they purposely neglected to "set the trap" by making sure…

|Observation of the Week 22/4/2015

How Long have Sperm Whales been Hunted?

Are sperm whales still hunted? No, not commercially. Nevertheless, a traditional hunt is still practised by residents of the Indonesian…

|Whale Q&A 15/4/2015

Belugas Return to the Estuary

"Almost in real time", emphasizes Robert Michaud as he calls the Whales On Line team on April 8. Indeed, barely…

|Observation of the Week 9/4/2015

On the Calendar: MICS Organizes Blue Whale Fundraiser Event

The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) will organize the first edition of the Grand Blue fundraiser on March 16, 2015…

|News 6/2/2015

Are the Belugas of the North Threatened?

In an interview with Véronique Lesage and Thomas Doniol-Valcroze, researchers at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Whales…

|Whale Q&A 23/2/2014